May 8, 2006
Editorial by Al Teich and Wendy White Senator Bond Offers Amendment to support foreign student visas.
ACLU Report - Science Under Siege: The Bush Administration's Assault on Academic Freedom and Scientific Inquiry
On June 15, 2005, AAS reported the following:SOME FOREIGN SCHOLARS WILL GET TO STAY IN US LONGER
Under a new State Department Rule
published in the Federal Register in May, some scholars will now be able to enter and leave the US multiple times during a five-year period. The program (detailed at the State Department web page
) is called the Exchange Visitor Program. Under this program, professors and scholars with "J" visas will be allowed to enter and leave the United States an unlimited number of times over a five-year period. Once their visas expired, participants in the program would have to wait two years before they could apply for another five-year visa. Special rules and regulations apply. Please see the State Department link above for full information. The purpose of the program is to enhance understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through educational and cultural exchanges.
The AAS distributed the following note on April 15:" The availability of visas for scientist and students to visit the United States for conferences, research, and study has been a matter of concern for the past several years. The situation has steadily improved after a major deterioration after the events of 11 September 2001. The Department of State has recently indicated that the processing for Visa Mantis applications has reduced to an average of fourteen days and that for academic programs the validity of a clearance has been extended from two to four years. However, there are still likely to be problems from time to time, or location to location and we would be most interested in hearing of any cases where astronomical researchers or students encountered difficulty in obtaining a visa to visit the United States for professional activities. Please send such information to Kevin Marvel at firstname.lastname@example.org."
There is a GAO report
which contains a full evaluation of the program.